SALARY CAP ISSUES
I don't think this is as serious an issue as some think...Larry Fitz says he is committed to being a Card...so I have faith that he will take an extension and spread his bread! As for Pace and Dansby, Dansby is due his respect so the franchise tag and a SERIOUS 8 mill pay increase would be wonderful....Pace, so long and farewell!
First, as discussed above...we must work it out with Fitzgerald (which I think will happen by free agency, although Fitz strikes me as a sneaky little prick.) For now, we can only hope Larry realizes that in the end, he will get his money; it's just a matter of timing! I read somewhere that the Cards realize that "1,400 yard seasons don't come cheap".... yeah but 16 mill, darn that sure is a lot of money for some running?
If AZ, can free up some loot with a Fitzgerald extension then we can hit the free agency period running. I think our best option...which might be a bit idealistic, is to take Faneca...at least make a good run for him. We need immediate assistance on O-Line...this would be a great bet and would save AZ some early draft picks that we could use on more immediate concerns.
In my opinion, AZ constantly drops the ball during free agency...last season was a total bust! Terrance Holt was NOT the answer...his close personal relationship with former college teammate Adrian Wilson does not overcome his lack of talent! We must clear some salary cap space in order to acquire Faneca...if we do this, I will officially be in hog heaven!
Also, I am surprised that no one is talking about Bryant Johnson...do we think he stays or goes??? Personally I think he is a wonderful third option at the WR position, but I wonder if his price tag is worth it or if he has the patience to play third fiddle, arguably he could be a nice standout on another team...he reminds me a west coast Wes Welker! If Bryant leaves, AZ will have to take a LATE round WR to replace the lost speed at this position; Boldin is slow as molasses,...UNLESS they use Breaston, HUMMMM!!
Now on to the draft.., I am starting a personal campaign for Antoine Cason to go to AZ as the number 16 pick...we desperately need a CB, and as a Jim Thorpe winner, who could be better...no I don't want Aqib Talib, Leodis McKelvin or Mike Jenkins! Cason went to school in AZ, he has a great fan following in Tuscan. Arizona does not want to be a Houston Texans type team and pass on the hometown favorite and regret it when he shows up and pioneers his team to victory (ok, admittedly Cason is no Vince Young, but you get the picture!) To advance my argument, the **** has FINALLY moved Rolle to the FS position (Rolle and Wilson..I'm excited!) This move TOTALLY leaves the CB position wide open, Arizona is primed for a top CB draft selection, this draft is rich with powerful, talented and dangerous CB's...so watch out!
As for Arizona's RB issues, they are REAL! I admit that it would be appealing to select a young RB in the first round but let's be real; do we REALLY think Arizona is ready to part ways with the EDGE??? Yes, at 30, he is over the hill, and a replacement is needed, but must that replacement come in the first round? Looking at the prospects... the undeniable best option at RB would be Darren McFadden, but we all know Atlanta isn't passing on this guy. Oh and note that there is a pesky little rumor that Dallas is attempting to trade Marion Barber to MIA in return for their draft pick, a.k.a an attempt at McFadden. The Tuna is KNOWN for preferring seasoned vets over newbie's....he has started a few nice QB's straight from the draft, but he has a tendency to stick with the old heads. Regardless of the validity of this rumor, I can assure you McFadden WONT be in AZ, so farewell visions of a McFadden/James tandem!! Should Arizona take a RB it will either be Rasard Mendenhull or Jonathan Stewart. I would opt for the beast that is Jonathan Stewart...his size is just plain SCARY, he is known to run right through defenders! Mendenhall's speed is questionable; we already have enough slowbie's. Despite these two talents, we do have to remember that there are some predicted late round RB's (Kevin Smith, who is def. a GREAT investment, especially if he falls to the second round). Considering Arizona's financial situation...it would be cheaper to take the CB first round (Antoine Cason) and the RB in the second!
In terms of the offense we are set. We have an explosive WR core and a promising QB situation, which combined really gives us SERIOUS hope on offense. Not to mention, Levi should be back full force into the mix of things (he recently got engaged this offseason.) In terms of defense...well, it is no secret that AZ went 8-8 and just barely missed the post season by a few missed defensive plays...note the operative word being DEFENSIVE plays. So, we MUST build on D!
I cannot finish the draft discussion without mentioning that Arizona had the worse net punting average in the league, so a punter should be an eventual focus in this draft. Also, there are discussions looming concerning Neil Rackers abilities. I would be most bothered if AZ parted ways with Neil, however it isn't a bad idea to consider bringing in a place kicker...I say that ONLY to spark some competition between the old and the new. Remember how that worked in the QB position...I'm just saying, a little comp never hurt NOBODY!! Speaking of competition, that darn Eric Green sure could use a spark of competition himself...at the CB position...Antoine Cason for PRESIDENT!
So, if I were Rod Graves and crew... I'd take a great CB/Jim Thorpe winner in the first round (Antoine Cason), a RB in the second round (Kevin Smith), and then a DE, a punter, and a place kicker. All of this provided we acquire Faneca in the free agency game....SOMEONE PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ROD GRAVES!!!